Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour 2 (8 inch) round cake pans.
Cream butter and 1/2 cup sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Add egg yolks, and mix well. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together; add alternately with milk to the butter mixture, ending with flour. Pour batter into the 2 greased and floured 8 inch cake pans.
Beat egg whites in a small mixing bowl until foamy, adding the 3/4 cups of sugar gradually, and beating until stiff peaks form. Stir in vanilla and spread on top of batter in cake pans. Sprinkle the finely chopped pecans on top and bake at 325 degrees F for 20-25 minutes. Test for doneness. Cool in pans.
When cool, place 1 layer, meringue side down, on a cake plate. Spread Pineapple Filling on top. Place second layer over filling, meringue side up.
Filling: Whip the cream adding the powdered sugar gradually. Add in the vanilla. After it's fully whipped and stands in pretty peaks, stir in the well-drained crushed pineapple. Keep covered in refrigerator until ready to use. Best if used as soon as possible. If it has been sitting for a bit, just stir it up again, and spoon it onto your cake as directed.
Note About Cake Flour: Make your own cake flour if you don't have a box in the pantry. Just measure out what your recipe calls for in amount of cake flour, then place 2 Tbsp. for every cup of flour back into the canister. Then sift the remaining plain flour along with 2 Tbsp. of cornstarch for every 2 Tbsp. removed together 5 or more times. The more air you incorporate into it the lighter your cake will be (within reason. 5 times is enough for now). Now you have made your own cake flour.
If you want to make your own cake flour ahead of time, then just add 3 cups of all-purpose flour to a bowl, then remove 6 Tbsp. of it, and replace it with 6 Tbsp. cornstarch. Sift it 5 times and keep it in a tightly covered canister. When you need cake flour now, just measure it out, sift it again a couple of times, and you'll have it perfectly. All the taking out and adding in will already be done.
Note About Whipped Cream: You can substitute 1 cup of commercial whipped topping, but it won't be quite as good.
Note About Powdered Sugar: I prefer using the 10X confectioner's sugar over the 4x type since it's a finer texture. I always use the finer, especially when making my own whipped cream. It melts right into the cream and gives you the finest textured whipped cream possible. There is a 14X Confectioner's sugar, but I've not seen any in the regular stores. Perhaps you could find it at a good baker's supply store. You really don't need finer than 10x though, and many people use the 4x which is acceptable.
Source: My dear, sweet friend Etta who hangs the moon for us every night.
By Julia from Boca Raton, FL
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